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The purpose of this blog is to revisit some teams that worked well in the past, both on offense and defense, catalog them, and update them for the latest game revisions. I'll also be including strategy on usage and "how to beat them" for the defensive teams. On with the show!

Offensive Teams

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies

The Team:

  • Luke Cage (Bruiser Nul Uniform)
    • e-Iso - Relentless
    • a-Iso - Focused Blackbelt or Martial (L1), Powerful Blackbelt or Martial (L2), Gracious (L6), Erupting (L9 - required)
  • Dr. Strange (Modern Tac Uniform)
    • e-Iso - Siphoning or Resonant
    • a-Iso - Sorcerous (L1) (L6 - required)
  • Agent
    • Armor of your choice, based on current meta. Tac Empowered with Quick EISO is usually a safe bet.
    • Signpost
    • Deathly Freeze Ray
    • Synthetic Cube
    • Neurotrope, Weather Control Device, or another QA gadget of your choice

The Concept:

Nul, Breaker of Worlds, is a kick-ass alt for Luke Cage, and his L9 is pretty beastly - it's unblockable, its debuff is unremovable, and if the person afflicted with it gets hit with Magic or Ground attacks, it adds another stack. The down-side to it is in order to get a good opening stack set you have to waste turns using his L2 to get bonus stacks. That's where the agent and Dr. Strange come into play. Since Nul's debuff gets boosted by magic, we bring an ally that has an AOE Magic attack and can also get free QA attacks, and we load the agent up with a free QA AOE Magic attack as well as an AOE Magic attack that has some nasty side-effects.

The Opening Playbook:

The big thing here is we need to get to Cage's turn so he can bust out his L9. If Cage goes early in the turn rotation, you're golden - hit his L6 > L9 to get the stacks of rocks rolling and let him tank some hits. If Cage doesn't go first, you will have to play it by ear. Usually it's a safe bet to have the agent Signpost and use the QA item, or Signpost and use Cube's L1, but save the Deathly Freeze Ray until after Cage has the debuff applied since it has a long cooldown. If Doc goes before Cage, bust out his L6 - no harm in getting a little AOE action in, and it doesn't have a cooldown so you can break it out on the next turn as well. Once you get three or more stacks of Meteor Swarm on the enemy, each AOE Magic attack you bust out on the other team will just add insult to injury, in addition to extending the duration of Meteor Swarm.

The Downside:

First and foremost, in order to be effective we need to have a couple Gold-purchased ASIO on the team, which immediately sets it back a notch. You need the Erupting on Cage's L9 so you can hit Flyers with it, and you need the Sorcerous on Doc's L6 so you can use it without having to worry about protectors that can tank AOE getting in the way. Second, this team is massively susceptible to losses if Cage buys the farm before you can get his rocks off. Also, if you lose the agent or Doc before they can get in an AOE after Cage drops the rocks, you're going to be fighting an uphill battle.


QuickLocke

The Team:

  • Quicksilver
    • Blue suit preferable for the pre-counters. Scrapper if you're not seeing a lot of bruisers in your meta, otherwise Generalist
    • e-Iso - Aggressive
    • a-Iso - Powerful Martial (L1, L3, L9), Pulverizing (L2)
  • Psylocke
    • Any suit will work, but if you use her X-Force alt you get free Stealthy attacks
    • e-Iso - Synchronized, as well as Ukemi if you're using her base Inf suit
    • a-Iso - Vorpal (L1, L9), Gracious (L2 or L6, optional)
  • Agent
    • Armor of your choice, based on current meta. Tac Empowered Armor with Snappy Service is usually the safe bet.
    • Dragon's Foot
    • Synthetic Cube
    • Raft Shank
    • Coulson's Revenge

The Concept:

If one attack per turn is good, multiple attacks per turn is better. This team capitalizes on the effects granted by Psylocke's e-Iso and Quicksilver's "I'm going first" ability, hopefully proc'ing dogpile attacks on whatever you aim Pietro towards.

The Opening Playbook:

If the other team is packing an Infiltrator, aim Quicksilver at them. With any luck Mental Coordination will proc and they'll be dead by the time Pietro takes his second turn. Have the agent use the cube to clear buffs on round one if needed, and if not then break out the Dragon's Foot on whichever character looks mostly dead and take advantage of that Wide Open debuff. Psylocke should keep the team dogpile buff going as needed, and take shots with her sword or knives if it's not.

The Downside:

Two words: "C-C-C-Combo Breaker!" Agents with Raft Shank and Heroic Age Iron Fist are the bane of this team, because the chances that QS and crew will get interrupted are pretty high. Pack in HAIF's e-Iso and you've got a QuickLocke killer, bar none.

Notes:

This team worked surprisingly well on both offense and defense until people started picking up HAIF's e-Iso. Once that happened, the meta shifted and fewer people kept it on their defense team.


Tri-Tac-Tankard

The Team:

  • War Machine
    • Tactician Iron Patriot alt
    • e-Iso - Increasing
    • a-Iso - Powerful Radiant/Martial (L1, optional) Ionizing (L2, optional), Powerful Ballistic/Radiant (L6), Automated (L9)
  • Emma Frost
    • Tactician P5 Alt
    • e-Iso - Eternal
    • a-Iso - Controlling (L1), Powerful Blackbelt/Martial (L2, optional), Maddening (L9)
  • Agent
    • Tactician Empowered Armor with Quick e-Iso
    • Asgardian Tankard
    • Weapon of your choice. Warbringer Axe was a good one, as was Mystic, or any other Q/A weapon.
    • Psychic Amplifier
    • Synthetic Cube

The Concept:

The Asgardian Tankard was intended to be a tool that worked with having other members of the Warriors Three on your team. Surprise, surprise, Playdom messed up, and the Tankard turned out to have its "Aegir's Finest" buff apply to any other team member, not just the Warriors Three. This immediately granted class bonuses to those team members. A savvy player could use this to get their Tac team members extra turns up front in round one, giving them a huge advantage on offense.

The Opening Playbook:

First and foremost, if the opposing team was fielding ANY Blasters, you SHOULD NOT attack them with single attacks. This would wreck the benefit of the Tankard because you would be forced to take the extra turn immediately. The big plan here was to get to the Agent's turn, so he could pop the Tankard and get War Machine up to the front of the line. If the Agent went first, you were golden. Pop the mug, and let the pain fly - have Emma use her L9 to whittle damage off the opposition, and when Rhodey's turn came around you would L9 > L6, which would usually wipe out the opposing team in two shots of the canon.

The Downside:

If the agent bought the farm before you could get to his turn, you were S.O.L. War machine and Emma could probably take the opposition on their own, but if the defending team was dishing out that much damage, chances were good that the rest of your team wasn't doing so hot.

Notes:

This team worked due to a glitch in the way the Asgardian Tankard was programmed. Instead of granting the class buffs to only the Warriors Three members, it would grant it to everyone on the team, regardless of affiliation. This was obviously EXTREMELY OP when set up with a team of Tacs, as they would all immediately be granted an extra turn, which returned us to the days of the pre-nerf Quantum Jumper. This allowed the player to tear through opposing teams like a teenage boy goes through kleenex, making most matches last under five minutes. This was a godsend in the days of the defensive match-ups your team would fight outnumbering your attacks by a factor of 3:1 or more, because you could potentially keep up with the points you would be hemorrhaging on the last day of the tournament. Unfortunately, PD patched the tankard, which sucked, because it's not like the team was giving anyone an unfair advantage at the higher levels of play. If anything, it was an equalizer in the sense that it let you compensate for the crap AI that PD saddlebags your AFK team with by letting your attack team make up the difference. Obviously, this team is no longer valid, and is only included here for the sake of completeness.


The Extras

The Team:

  • Quicksilver
    • Blue suit preferable for the pre-counters
    • e-Iso - Aggressive
    • a-Iso - Pulverizing (L1, L2)
  • Omega Sentinel
    • e-Iso - Distant & either Sympathetic or Close
    • a-Iso - Automated (L6) & Powerful Artillery (L9)
  • Agent
    • Armor of your choice, based on current meta. Tac or Bruiser Power Armor is usually the safe bet.
    • Signpost
    • Hotshot
    • Hard Nox
    • Neurotrope

The Concept:

This team is built around being able to take extra turns every round or deny your opponent the ability to take their turns. In a turn-based game, being able to take more actions per round than your opponent is an inherent advantage. That is part of what makes the effects of Stun, Incapacitate, or any other debuff that prevents an opponent from taking turns so powerful. It's also part of what makes Quicksilver and Omega Sentinel a dangerous combination - they both can take two actions per turn, netting you five potential attacks per round to your opponent's three. PlayDom has balanced these heroes somewhat so that they make up for the turn advantage by dealing a lower amount of damage, but that's where OS comes back in to help. Most of her attacks or buffs apply a buff to the whole team, boosting the power of her Scrapper-mode L9 in the process. Combine that with the agent's Neurotrope, and if you get a lucky draw on the buffs and turn order, you could potentially have a one-shot kill from OS in round 1.

The Opening Playbook:

Quicksilver uses his L1 on the most likely target. If they brought an Inf, target them first to get the extra hits. Omega Sentinel varies on her opening, depending on opponent and what they were able to do to you or buff themselves with. Play it by ear and don't do anything that will get you counter-attacked until you can get some buffs on Karima. Scrapper L6 > ScL9 is usually a safe bet. Agent is pretty straightforward. Open with Signpost, then Neurotrope, then Hotshot on the enemy team. If you get lucky you'll get at least one stun, hopefully more, and this will set them up for pre-counters from the Hard Nox.

The Downside:

This team is particularly vulnerable to the opposing team buffing themselves. You have no good way of removing opposing buffs, so you'll have to hit them hard & fast, and pray you can take them down before they get a buff train rolling. You're also lacking in multiple debuff removal routes, having to rely on OS's BrL9 to heal and/or clean the team. Lastly, the usage of the PvP reward weapon Mystic is a thorn in its side, as it prevents you from being able to debuff or stun the enemy team on Round 1, but you can work around that.


Buffs For Everyone!

The Team:

  • Heimdall
    • e-Iso - Close & Relentless
    • a-Iso - Vorpal (L1) & Powerful Bladed (L6)
  • Omega Sentinel
    • e-Iso - Distant & either Sympathetic or Close
    • a-Iso - Automated (L6) & Powerful Artillery (L9)
  • Agent
    • Armor of your choice, based on current meta. Tac or Bruiser Power Armor is usually the safe bet.
    • Neurotrope
    • Mystic
    • Synthetic Cube
    • Scroll of Angolob / Warbringer Axe / Stainless Steel

The Concept:

This team was designed as a response to the emergence of the pre-nerf Mystic in PvP. If you can't debuff the other team, then the next best thing is buffing your own team. Omega Sentinel has a ScL9 that hits like a Mack truck. Heimdall's L1 has the same effect. Either one of them can easily one-shot or nearly kill an opponent with one hit, but they need the proper buffs to do so. Fortunately, they can provide each other with the buffs they both need! Paired up with the agent with a Neurotrope, it's a case of "You get a buff, and you get a buff, and we all get a buff!" Get the buffs applied, and start one-shotting the other team!

The Opening Playbook:

This is going to vary, depending on turn order and what you can read that the other team is packing. If you can tell that they're packing the Cube or SoA, expect your buffs to get wiped on the enemy agent's first turn and don't fire off all your buff-granting abilities on round 1 - either save back Heimdall or the Neurotrope, or let the AI wipe one of OS's re-appliable buffs. If you're able to fire off Heimdall's L9 and get OS's ScL9 in (or fire off the Neurotrope and get in either of their heavy attacks in) before the enemy team can clear your buffs. Pick the most likely target, and kill 'em dead.

The Downside:

As mentioned in the playbook, this team is very weak against buff removal tools, like the Cube, SoA, or things like Soulfire. You have to watch your turn order and be sure you're firing off the buffs at the right time to make the best of what you have available to you. Pay attention to what you know your opponent is packing and make sure you time your buffs so that you'll get the most bang for your buck.


Defensive Teams

Airborne Medic

The Team:

  • Invisible Woman
    • Future Foundation Inf Alt
    • e-Iso - Circulating
    • a-Iso - Powerful Ballistic OR Focused Ballistic (L1, L6), Gracious (L2)
  • Falcon
    • e-Iso - Reflexive, Iso of your choice (commonly Relentless)
    • a-Iso - Powerful Blackbelt/Martial (L1, L6), Focused Artillery/Ballistic (L2), Powerful Artillery/Ballistic (L9)
  • Agent
    • Tac Empowered Armor with the Quick e-Iso
    • Staff of Asklepios
    • Shepherd's Staff
    • Any item that provides healing, buff removal, or group shields
    • Synthetic Cube

The Concept:

Falcon is a fantastic support character due to his buffs that come with his attacks and his damage reduction so long as the team's health is over 80%. Invisible Woman provides killer debuff removal and prevention so long as she has shields in place with her e-Iso. Combine the two and you have an exercise in frustration for your opponent that they're likely to not forget.

How to Beat it:

Focused fire is the key to this one. If Sue gets her shields up, you're not going to be able to touch the team with debuffs. If Falcon is still around you're going to have to whittle them down bit by bit. Take Sue out first if possible, especially if you're using a team that relies on debuffs to get extra damage in. Hopefully you're running a Scrapper on your team - BSQS and HAIF work well for this.


Radiation Sickness

The Team:

  • Beast
    • Pestilence alt.
    • e-Iso - If Inf, use Ukemi. If Tac, use Protective
    • a-Iso - Powerful Blackbelt/Martial(L1), Vorpal (L9)
  • Red Hulk
    • e-Iso - Smoldering, Quick
    • a-Iso - Powerful (L1, L2), Gracious (L6, optional), Endothermic (L9)
  • Agent
    • Tac Empowered Armor with the Quick e-Iso
    • Signpost
    • Hotshot
    • Optional Hard Nox / Chaoshot / Iso Loaded Scattergun
    • Synthetic Cube

Note:

  • Alternate load out for the agent would be the full Horsemen set
  • Another variation of this team uses Modern Dr. Strange with his Enchanted e-Iso, loaded with Powerful Eldritch or Sorcerous a-Iso on his attacks.

The Concept:

Are you down with the sickness? Pesti-Beast is! Red Hulk brings protection and a group debuff with his Gamma Bomb. Beast keeps the debuffs in place and adds his own, and the agent can chime in with an AOE from Hotshot or if you're using the full Horsemen set you hit the enemy with the plant sprayer (Ex Oblivione). The battle then becomes a war of attrition, and if the enemy can't get rid of Pesti-Beast then they're effectively screwed.

How to Beat it:

Take out Pesti-Beast first. He's the lynch-pin of the team, and if you can get rid of him then taking out the rest of the team should be a snap. If it's the team packing Dr. Strange, you might have to take him down first so his pop-up shields don't play havoc with your strategy.


20-Minute Men

The Team:

  • Heimdall
    • e-Iso - Close & Relentless
    • a-Iso - Vorpal (L1) & Powerful Bladed (L6)
  • Rescue
    • e-Iso - Quick & Generosity
    • a-Iso - Powerful Radiant (L1)
  • Agent
    • Armor of your choice, based on current meta. Tac or Bruiser Power Armor is usually the safe bet.
    • Signpost
    • Scroll of Angolob
    • Neurotrope
    • Synthetic Cube

The Concept:

"Speed kills," as the adage goes, and that holds doubly so in PvP. If you can burn through matches faster than your opponents, you rack up points faster than they can, and you end up on top. This team is designed to stop your opponent from doing that. By delaying your attacker, you deny them points from other victories and cost them points from their own AFK losses. Sure, there's a pretty good chance your defense team is going to lose the match, but that doesn't mean you have to let the attacker tear through them like a sneeze through a Kleenex. The AI plays Rescue like the protector she is, so with Snappy Service on her she'll be able to get her protect on, throw up shields, clear the debuffs, AND get an attack in all on the same turn. With her health and defense bumped up, she becomes a massive annoyance to the opponent. Heimdall will usually open up with his NOPE-prep move and then blow his horn to buff everyone, eating up more time and making everyone even more deadly. The agent is geared so that he burns multiple items each turn, eating up more time and keeping him alive while buffing the team or debuffing the enemy. The team, as a whole, is very hard to kill and will likely cost the attacking agent a large chunk of time, hence the name of "20 Minute Men".

How to Beat it:

Take out Rescue first, if at all possible. She's the healing lynchpin of the team, provides shields, and generally makes it harder to kill the other members of the team.


Newton's First Law

The Team

  • Quicksilver
    • Green suit
    • e-Iso - Accelerating & Aggressive
    • a-Iso - Pulverizing (L1, L2)
  • Juggernaut
    • e-Iso - Hardened & Close
    • a-Iso - Powerful Blackbelt or Martial (L1, L2)
  • Agent
    • Armor of your choice, based on current meta. Tac or Bruiser Power Armor is usually the safe bet.
    • Dragon's Foot
    • Other weapons of your choice. Common picks include Signpost, Synthetic Cube, Hoarfrost Mace, Mystic, and Scroll of Angolob

The Concept:

The Dragon's Foot provides the Step of Shou-Lao buff that grants all melee attacks a(n almost) guaranteed hit and a higher chance to crit. With Quicksilver and Juggernaut, you have a whole slew of melee options for the AI to pick from. When this team first appeared it was commonly seen with QS in one of his Blue suits, to provide the extra chance at a pre-counter. With the advent of e-Iso, I strongly suggest bringing him in his standard green suit so you can slot both his Accelerating (so he doesn't burn Quickness on the counter-attacks) and the Aggressive (for extra attack boosts) Isos. Since A-Iso were introduced, you may also want to consider putting a Pulverizing on his L1 attack, or possibly his L2 if you're seeing more Inf in the meta. This will let you put Wide Open on the opposing team, setting them up for further damage from either Pietro or Cain.

How to Beat it:

Focus fire on Juggernaut, if at all possible, and kill him before his turn. His Surge of Cyttorak and high damage output will be enough to one-shot most heroes, and the boost he gives to QS will be a serious hurting for your team. If you can't take him out, try to have some sort of buff removal available to you after he lays the smack down so you can clean house and try to recover.


Line Jumpers

The Team

  • Havok
    • e-ISO - Distant & Unavoidable
    • a-ISO - Powerful Ballistic (L2) Ionizing (L6)
  • Quicksilver
    • Commonly seen in the Generalist blue suit for the pre-counters
    • e-Iso - Inspiring
    • a-Iso - Pulverizing (L1, L2)
  • Agent
    • Can swap the agent into the new Generalist armor to have the agent pack the Inspiring e-Iso, freeing up QS to use a different suit.
    • Agent load-out varies, but usually includes the Cube and may include other damage boosting gear such as the Neurotrope.

The Concept:

Quicksilver has his initiative score (which we can't see) artificially inflated so that he always goes first in a battle, and he gets two turns. Havok has a high chance to proc his Uncanny Coordination whenever an ally attacks. This gives the team two chances for Havok to cut in line and get his first turn before the opposing team can go. Since the AI for Havok has been improved and he will now properly use his L9 > L2 one-shot blast, this can result in the attacking team being down a man before they even get a turn in edgewise, wrecking their strategy and quite often resulting in a loss for the attacker.

How to Beat it:

Right now there really isn't a hard counter for this team, short of running it yourself on offense and praying you get turn order advantage over the opponent. Havok's one-shot can punch through pretty much any shield you can throw on a hero. You can maybe tap-dance around it with heroes that can self-rez, like Phoenix, Sabretooth, DP (with his e-ISO), Nico, et cetera. My general strategy is to just run my team and pray the opposing Havok doesn't get a lucky proc in, or the AI goes full-retard and doesn't L9 > L2.

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